The Mahatma and the Mahajan

BY: SUN STAFF - 6.2 2018

By HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, 'Back To Godhead', Mar 16, 1956, Vol. 03, No. 02 - Part One

A broad minded gentleman is known as Mahatma, Sadhu or Mahajan. 'Mahat' means broad, 'Atma' means soul. The term 'Mahat' is viewed from different angles of vision by the materialist and the transcendentalist respectively. According to mundane materialists conditioned by the laws of nature, a person, who can gratify the senses of such conditioned being is known as Mahatma or Mahajan.

To a tradesman, the person, who allows him credit for developing the business is accepted as Mahajan. To the fruitive worker who wants to enjoy the result of his hard labour, Rishis like Jaimini (who concludes the ultimate Truth as Karma) and religionists, who can promise all classes of qualitative religious sentiments, are accepted as Mahajans. To the mystics who consider meditation and concentration of the mind as the ultimate truth, Rishis like Patanjali are considered as Mahajan. To the dry philosophical speculators, Rishis like atheist Kapila, are considered as Mahajan. To impersonal monist, Rishis like Vashista, Durbasha, Dattatreya and others are considered as Mahajans. To the atheists who are guided by the animal qualities of passion and ignorance, physically powerful men like Hirnakhya, Ravana, Meghnad, Jarasandha, Hitler, Masolini etc. are considered as Mahajans. To the devotees of teachers, Ekalabyas and Karnas are considered as Mahajans. To the effeminate persons, kings, like Maharaj Daksha able to beget children thousands in number, are considered as Mahajans. To the general mass of people suffering from insufficiency, persons, who can open hospitals and alms houses, are considered as Mahajans. To the atheist who is by his born nature, a worshipper of the material nature and is envious to the Personality of God Vishnu, dry philosophical speculators, material scientists, historians, mundane literates, sentimental poets, platform orators, social reformers, political leaders etc. are considered as Mahatmas or Mahajans. To the self-deceitful person, who considers that the science of devotional activities is the monopolised property of a certain class of flesh and blood, professional and hired spiritual masters may be considered as Mahajans.

To the pseudo devotee, the imitators, of the transcendental feats of Thakur Haridas and Sree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu may be considered as Mahajan. To such devotees imitation incarnation of Godhead like Jackel Vasudev, mystics like Putana, Trinabarta, Vatsa, Baka, Agha, Dhenuka, Kalya, Pralamba who were known as the demons and atheists like Charbaka, Poundraka, Sukracharya, Bena, Sugata, Arhat all these may be considered as Mahajan. And to the foolish half-educated persons, clever self-styled Mahajan in the garb of a Sadhu, who can attract the attention of his foolish followers by enchanting and flowery languages, can also be accepted as Mahajans. But all these different types of Mahatmas or Mahajans are rejected by the authoritative revealed scriptures like Bhagwat Geeta and Sreemad Bhagbatam.

Sreemad Bhagbatam, which is the unalloyed natural commentation of the Vedanta Sutra and where everything pretentious and bewildering in the shape of (1) religiosity (2) economics (3) sense gratification and (4) merging in the impersonal Brahman, all have been completely eradicated says like this:

(in Devanagari:)

prayena veda tad idam na mahajano 'yam
devya vimohita-matir bata mayayalam
trayyam jadi-krta-matir madhu-puspitayam
vaitanike mahati karmani yujyananah

(Bhag. 6.3.25)

"The great Mahatmas or Mahajans in the estimation of the fruitive workers of this material world, and such advocates of religiosity do not know actually what is meant by a Mahatma engaged in the devotional service. Such material mahatmas are upset by the influence of the illusory external energy of Vishnu manifested in the three qualities of nature. And for this reason they are unable to (?) the worth of devotional service but are engaged in the (?) network of fruitive activities for material benefit in the worship of material nature. The intelligence of such Mahajan is bewildered by the flowery language of material science derived from the four Vedas such as Rig, Sam, Jayur, and Athurva. They are captivated by the material interpretations. Such Mahajans and Mahatmas in spite of their being worshipped by the people in general, are not engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Personality of Godhead (Purushottam)."

Such persons may be worshipped by the public as a great religious reformer (Dharmbir) and may be established as a great philosophical speculator (Jnanabir) or may be adored as the emblem of renounciation (Voiragya) and yet 'Sreemad Bhagwat' will not give them any place of recognition. Because in the opinion of 'Sreemad Bhagwatam'.-

(In Devanagari:)

neha yat karma dharmaya
na viragaya kalpate
na tirtha-pada-sevayai
jivann api mrto hi sah

"A 'Karambir' or the great fruitive plan-maker of gigantic work who does not aim at religious end; a 'Dharmabir' or the great man of religiosity who does not aim at ultimate renunciation; and the 'Tyagbir' or the great renouncer who does not give up worldly enjoyments for the service of the Supreme Lord all such great men are dead bodies while they continue to live." In fact everything that ends well, is well. The whole purpose of life is to attain to the stage of devotional service for the Supreme Lord. Therefore, the plan of work that does not end in the service of the Lord, the religiosity that does not aim at that service and the renunciation that does not end in the positive service of the Lord are all baffled. This very formula is mentioned in the Bhagwat Geeta also. It is said like this:

(In Devanagari:)

avajananti mam mudha
manusim tanum asritam
param bhavam ajananto
mama bhuta-mahesvaram

moghasa mogha-karmano
mogha-jnana vicetasah
raksasim asurim caiva
prakrtim mohinim sritah
(Bg. 9.11-12)

Those, who decry the Personality of Godhead because of His natural feature of a human being, without knowing the inconceivable super-human power that He possesses and His Lordship over everything and anything must be baffled in their hope to attain to the stage of devotional service, attain to the result of their fruitive work or to attain to salvation after much philosophical speculation or manouvering of a network of vocabulary. Such persons will be baffled in their aim of life because they are enamoured by the external beauty of the material nature under the influence of a demoniac mentality.

The periodical plans of the political leaders involving a great amount of human energy for the material satisfaction of a temporary span of life, may it be called as the service of one's own country, service of the humanity, service of the society, service of the family, service of the class or clan, service of the poor, service of the fallen women, service of many many demi-Gods and all such attractive features of human endeavours, without any aim to the service of the Lord are all self-centered or self-extended processes of sense gratification sure to be ended in frustration.

It is a misfortune time for the present world that such sense-gratifying unscientific plans of work, such sense-gratifying leaders of thought, such sense-gratifying brightness of humbug orators and such sense-gratifying educationists are passing by the names of Mahajans and Mahatmas!

Conditioned soul who is under the stringent controlling regulation of the material nature, who can see only to the phenomenal objects of the external cosmos, who is made a servant of sensuous enjoyment and renunciation cannot select or see the bonafide Mahatma or Mahajan due to his jaundiced eye under the influence of bewildered intelligence. Such conditioned soul is always defective in the four principles of primitive imperfections. The Personality of Godhead, therefore, directly gives the definition of a Mahatma in the following words:

(In Devanagari:)

bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti
sa mahatma su-durlabhah
(Bg. 7.19)

mahatmanas tu mam partha
daivim prakrtim asritah
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jnatva bhutadim avyayam
(Bg. 9.14)

(To be continued…)

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